News From Pitts Theological Library: Digitized Images Commemorating the Reformation

Thanks to the diligent work of Pitts Volunteer Roy Wise, we can announce the creation of a new image collection! “Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses” is a free resource of images for Reformation celebrations or classes. Pitts Theology Library has more than 60,000 images from 15th through the 19th centuries available online. The website includes woodcuts from the 3,800+ volumes of the Kessler Reformation Collection, more than a thousand of which are by Luther himself.

The site has the first known woodcut of Luther from a 1519 book of his sermons. A section on Luther’s career has images of: an indulgence, Luther’s first Bible, Pope Leo X’s bull against Luther, the first Lutheran hymnal, and the original Augsburg Confession, among others. Of particular interest for bulletin covers are woodcuts based on Lucas Cranach’s painting “Law and Gospel.” Created in 1529 and presenting the essence of Luther’s theology, this was the most influential contribution of the Lutheran Reformation to art history. The website can be found at http://pitts.emory.edu/2017.

Sigmund Mowinckel

Sigmund Mowinckel, Scandinavian Old Testament scholar extraordinaire, was born on the 4th of August in 1884.  Most famous for his work on the Psalms, he authored many very useful volumes my favorite of which is The Old Testament as Word of God.  It’s what we call down here a ‘page-turner’.  Brittanica writes

Educated at the University of Oslo (then Kristiania), Mowinckel spent his life from 1917 teaching there. His greatest contribution was in cultic-religious history. He conducted substantial research into the motivation for the psalms and in the practice of worship in ancient Israel. He wrote Psalmenstudien, 6 vol. (1921–24; “Studies in the Psalms,” later popularized as The Psalms in Israel’s Worship, 1962), one of the major works of biblical commentary of the 20th century. Depicting the psalms in their concrete cultural milieu, he emphasized the cultic nature of their origin and development.

My first encounter with Mowinckel was in a grad school, in OT Introduction.  His ‘Psalms in Israel’s Worship’ amazed me.  It still does.  And so do his other works.

He also astonished D.R. Ap-Thomas who, in 1966, wrote an appreciation of him-

mowinckel

You can read the whole essay in Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 85, No. 3 (Sep., 1966), pp. 315-325.  Also, the Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament had an entire issue devoted to Mowinckel and his work back in 1988.

A Series of Old Testament Study Guides You May Not Have Heard Of, But Should

Bloomsbury is publishing a series of what they describe as ‘study guides’ for the Old Testament, but don’t make the mistake of thinking these are mere ‘Cliff Notes’.  Quite the contrary.  I reviewed a couple of these volumes in the most recent number of the Book List and they are exceptionally helpful.

Bloomsbury-T&T Clark’s Study Guides to the Old Testament present the latest in biblical scholarship in an engaging format for students and those approaching biblical texts for the first time. Each book covers the historical issues surrounding the text before moving on to consider interpretative issues and the range of approaches available to readers of the text. The books include further reading lists and pointers for students looking to further their knowledge. Each book is written by a member of the Society for Old Testament Study (SOTS), a prestigious academic society which celebrates its centenary in 2017.

The link above is to the list by date of publication.  Take a look.